Last week, PAEP was featured at the Sustainability Symposium event at Temple University. Having just finished up its third year, we were thrilled to be apart of this successful event. From Monday evening through Wednesday morning we had two of our Let Art Freedom Ring Bells on display. Both of these works of art showcased the different type of creativity each student possesses, and more importantly it express how art can influence education.
McCall Elementary School’s bell “Bell of Rights” focused on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They took it one step further by explaining that this is more than right, but also a goal. The seventh grade students chose to channel the current events occurring in Philadelphia, as well as nationwide. They developed a conclusion that these issues are connected in some way or another, creating a trickle down effect. Their main focus of “one person is struggling, everyone struggles” was evident throughout the bell. The black and white drawings represent the division that occurs when engaging in conversation about these issues. The “Bell of Rights” also purposely added in shades of gray to explain that often, these are never clear-cut. However, the students of McCall Elementary did choose to add some color, around the yoke and the crack as a symbol of love, pride, and most importantly hope for the future. A clever yet powerful touch might we add.
The other bell, “Building Blocks of Liberty: Words from Our Nation’s Founding Documents/Dreams from Our Nation’s Future Leaders”, constructed and designed by Houston Elementary showcased a different type of bell. These sixth graders investigated the core values that make the American nation. Following the term “brick by brick”, these students created a block for each meaningful term that represents America’s foundation and ever changing future. This creating, a multi-layered recreation of the Liberty Bell, that portrays early concepts from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the voice of modern-day leaders. The final touch that these Houston Elementary students added were their own dreams that they would like to see for our nation’s future. Their reason behind this was to tie into Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream”. Which of course is one of the foundations of our nation.
The event garnered much attention in the Greater Philadelphia Area, and turned out to be a huge success! The creativity both of the elementary school showed off was incredible and a true sight to see. It was a great learning experience as well as a great steppingstone for the students to display their work. We would like to thank Sustainability Symposium and Temple University for hosting us this year!
For more information on what “sustainability” is, click here.